Can We Create a Fair and Just Society?

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I think it is entirely possible that we could have a world that would run smoothly and that everyone could enjoy, a fair and just society. It would have to be a world without poverty; we would have to figure out how to be sure that everyone had enough resources to get through their lives in comfort. Everyone would have to have sufficient supplies of food and water and health care, and at reasonable cost. Housing that was adequate and hygienic and large enough to accommodate the group to be housed would need to be available. The ability to provide everyone with plentiful light, heat, and cooling would also be important in such a world. Transportation of some type would be available to all and some forms of entertainment. Waste disposal in all its forms would have been worked out and functional. Everyone would have access to as much education or training as they needed in order to find employment and jobs would be plentiful. There would be a guaranteed minimum wage for people who are unable to work or who need to take time off from work for their own needs or those of their family. People’s right’s would have to be respected.

There would be some form of instant repercussions for bullying, cheating, conning and trying to make an easy buck at the expense of others. There would also be instant repercussions for anti-social behavior detrimental to other members of the society. I believe that we are creative enough to make such a world as this and to do it in a way that governance is not overly intrusive. A society like this would have to be somewhat regimented. Given our natures that seem to value independence and even a bit of chaos more than regimentation could we live in such a culture? Switzerland has managed to do something like this. Would we all be happy living in Switzerland if the country had enough space? Is it easier to govern smaller nations than it is to govern larger nations? Is a one-world umbrella government possible and what would it look like?

While it is true that we are flawed and we often let our worst selves out into the world; we are also sublime and inspired. We love to solve problems. But we would need to solve the problems of letting our flaws rule the day because they seem more interesting than the peacefulness of getting our economies, governments, and social spheres right. Somehow we have come to believe that eliminating our bad behaviors will make for really boring lives and might even squelch creativity. Would our lives be too commonplace if there were no poverty, if everyone had enough of everything, if no one was homeless. Could this come to be recognized as simply the baseline infrastructure of a rational world?

We each have to choose moment by moment to opt out of those 7 deadly sins (Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, Sloth) and try to stay true to the 7 virtues (Humility, Charity/Generosity, Chastity, Gratitude, Temperance, Patience, Diligence). In a world that rewards innovative and creative behavior people often get confused about what is brilliant and what is criminal. Sometimes people get away with criminal behavior and then the confusion is even greater. We all know the Golden Rule, but can we design a world where people truly live it. The Golden Rule is open to interpretation. It is pretty general. People could disagree about what doing unto others means. People could have different tolerances for what they will let people do unto them. We have already seen the problems with a Constitution that was deliberately left open to interpretation. Even the Bible (and books holy to other religions) leave lots of room for various factions to claim that the same passages back up their actions. We know, however, that it would be too restrictive, controlling, and, in the end, impossible to try to make a law about every single cultural exigency.

Since everything we do tends to have two sides, the good and the bad, is it even possible, within the cosmic rules we seem to be stuck with, to choose to live in a society that provides enough for all? Or would even that state, that seems so proper, turn out to have new down sides that we have never thought of? For example, what would we do with people who get greedy, or people who abuse children, or people who exploit power for sex, or steal for income, or kill in anger, and on and on through the whole sorry roll call of human anti-social behavior. We would have to find a way to correct these behaviors that would not betray the goals of our fair and just society. Would imprisonment fit the tenor of such a world? Would we develop drugs that correct bad behaviors? Would we make a prison island to get these people out of circulation? That sort of worked in Australia, but we are fresh out of Australias. If solving the problems of society would simply produce new problems we have not imagined, then it seems futile to even bother.

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Still, I would go with the globalists – not to get rid of nations necessarily, but to set minimums for comfortable lives for everyone on the planet and to decide how to husband our resources as populations in some places explode. What is to stop those overcrowded nations from eventually looking around for places that are more sparsely populated with reasonably plentiful resources; from beginning a new era of imperialism? Will every nation be surrounded by walls and life become a police state and a life of uncertainty, of trash and garbage, both animal waste and human psychic garbage?

We could pretend that Earth is a new planet we have just found in space, the Earth B that everyone is always talking about these days. We could pretend that we are starting over to set up a plan for how we will govern the planet. We could set up such a strong planning body that everyone would stop acting like the power of certain nations, not already ruled by dictators, is up for grabs. What would we want Earth B to be like? If we don’t learn soon to actually go to space, we may have to consider our Earth Planet B and start from scratch if we hope to survive out here at the edge of space.

Or perhaps you are with the imminent apocalypse crew and we go down slugging it out, thugging it out, and letting strong men call the shots for our everyday lives. Perhaps, because of our grievous faults that is all we deserve. Memorial Day offered a good chance to imagine a world where well-trained soldiers could stand down unless we were attacked by aliens. Could we create all this?

Follow me @tremr.com and join the conversation.

 

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